Deal_or_No_Deal_BankerHave you ever watched Deal or No Deal and when the camera cuts to the banker, wondered, “Who the heck is this mysterious dude?”

Sure, we can see what the banker is up to (crunching numbers on a laptop and making offers on a smartphone). But we don’t know who he is.

This is how brands used to see their app users because until recently, the mobile world was devoid of profile data. We could track the behavior of our users, but they were shadowy figures we longed to learn more about.

What is User Profile Data?

Profiles are information about the characteristics (like gender, hobbies, or loyalty card membership status) of the people using your app. Before, mobile marketing existed in a silo and was based entirely on how people behaved inside your app. And while in-app actions can tell you a lot about your app users, they can’t tell you everything because people interact with your brand through a variety of channels.

From a Mobile Focus to a Human Focus

Maybe some of your app users are interested in sports. Maybe some are also frequent in-store shoppers. Or, maybe another bunch are subscribed to your emails. Wouldn’t it be great if you had visibility to this information and could use it to better personalize your mobile marketing?

Now you can.

With the introduction of rich profile data (which gives you insight into who your users are outside your app) combined with robust behavioral data (which shows you what your users do inside your app), brands can tailor their marketing for the person behind the mobile platform.

Profile Data + Behavioral Data = More Engagement

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Great, new data! But what do I do with it?” Imagine if we were to learn the identity, lifestyle, and preferences of the banker. How would that change the show? It would certainly make things more interesting and alter how and what we say to him or her.

Profile data paired with behavioral data makes mobile marketing more personal. And this is a good thing because people respond better to offers that are designed for them, timed for them, and exclusive to them.

4 Ways to Put Profile Data to Work

The more you know about your users, the more you can do for them with your app. Here are four worthwhile ways to act on your user profile data.

1. Use Profile Data to Beef Up Your App Buyer Personas/User Segments

Remember when you created app buyer personas and user segments? Time to enhance them.

Now that you have a wealth of new data at your disposal, use it to create better user segments. Divide people based on location, family size, gender, preferences, and/or anything else that you deem is important to how you market to them. This additional layer of information will help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your app users in the context of how they live in the world outside their smartphone.

How this helps you see the human side of mobile

By defining your app users in more detail, you will deepen your empathy for them. This in turn, will improve your communication abilities and help you build relationships that go beyond devices.

2. Set Up Anonymous Profiles

If some of your users aren’t ready to get personal just yet, set up anonymous profiles so you can still provide some targeted content. Anonymous profiles help you learn more about your users on dimensions that don’t reveal unique or identifiable data. For example, you can collect hometown information and use it to deliver locally relevant news, weather, deals, etc. without ever requiring users to sign in or sign up.

How this helps you see the human side of mobile

People are still hesitant to overtly disclose information, but we also expect more tailored content. Human beings are complicated this way. Marketers that are able to balance privacy with personalization will cultivate trust and impress their app users.

3. Trigger Push/In-App Messages Based on Online Behavior

Your mobile app is only one of the many ways you engage with people. You probably also have a website, a few social media accounts, and an email list. With profile data, you can connect consumer activity on all these channels to deliver a consistent experience, regardless of whether people check out your brand on their desktop or on their smartphone.

For instance, if your web analytics company can tell you which customers made a purchase on your site during the last month, you can send this profile data (i.e. last purchase date) to your mobile analytics vendor. Then, you could target these online shoppers with a push or in-app message that contains a discount code to motivate a subsequent purchase on your mobile app.

How this helps you see the human side of mobile

Let’s say you have a customer named Bob. Bob is a loyal shopper and he buys things from your online store almost every month. Bob also has your app downloaded onto his phone. In December, Bob buys orders a ton of gifts from your website and unlocks a $20.00 credit (yay Bob!).

However, he gets so busy that he forgets to use it. Profile data allows you to send Bob push and in-app messages reminding him that he has free money to spend with your company. Your brand’s ability to create a seamless transition for your users as they move from their computer to your mobile app cultivates dependability and rapport.

4. Trigger Push/In-App Messages Based on Offline Behavior

Many businesses operate brick-and-mortar locations (which is an offline marketing channel) in conjunction with their mobile apps. The people who take the time to visit one of your physical stores are highly valuable prospects. And you want to keep them engaged even after they walk out the door.

If your store collects information about these shoppers (such as email or loyalty card membership), you can send this profile data to your mobile vendor. Then, you can send push or in-app messages that contain in-store coupons or bonus material related to their offline purchases.

How this helps you see the human side of mobile

Let’s go back to Bob. Imagine Bob is a novice cook, but he is trying to improve his skills in the kitchen (go Bob!). As a result, Bob buys a lot of cookware and has a rewards card with Crate and Barrel. When Bob makes his next purchase of a frying pan in-store, Crate and Barrel can send this information to their mobile partner.

Later, Crate and Barrel can use this data to trigger push and in-app messages to Bob that contain recipes involving a frying pan. This pleases Bob because Crate and Barrel’s mobile app makes his life easier, saves him time, and nicely supplements his offline behavior.

It’s About People

User profiles make brands smarter and customers happier because you get to know the people behind the apps, which allows you to implement app marketing strategies that make sense in the bigger picture of their life.

It’s like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you visit different locations of your favorite restaurant and the staff always recognize you and cater to your tastes.